Friday, April 07, 2006

4-plunk games

Tonight's Nationals start Tony Armas has never hit more than 2 batters in a game, but tomorrow's starter Livan Hernandez tied the modern record for hitting batters last July when he plunked 4 Colorado Rockies in a single game. Hernandez is the 10th pitcher to hit 4 batters in a game since Craig Biggio's career began. Of those 10 games, Biggio played in 3, but surprisingly has never been plunked himself in any of them.

On June 2, 1996 Darryl Kile hit 4 Cardinals batters while pitching for the Astros. The following year, on September 13, 1997, Tom Candiotti, pitching for the Dodgers, hit the Astro's Darryl Kile, Tony Eusebio, and Derrick Bell twice but somehow missed Biggio. On April 19, 2000, Orel Hershisher, also pitching for the Dodgers against the Astros, hit Shane Reynolds, Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo twice. Hidalgo also got hit one other time in that game, tying the record for batters being hit in a game with 3. Craig Biggio has never been hit more than twice in a game.

Of the 10 pitchers who have hit 4 batters in a game, 5 have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch (on another occasion) - Pedro Astacio (7), Darryl Kile (1), Orel Hershiser (3), James Baldwin (1), and Tom Candiotti (1). Livan Hernandez joins Scott Schoeneweis, Victor Zambrano, Omar Olivares, and Steve Sparks as pitchers who hit 4 batters during the Biggio era but have never plunked Biggio.

Retrosheet lists all the 4 plunk games since 1960 on this page, but there is a whole lot of other stuff there too, so you'll need to search a bit.


At 4/07/2006 01:38:00 PM, Anonymous DM said...

When you say that the 'modern record' for plunks in one game by one pitcher is 4, are you leading us to believe that 'modern records' are what matter? C'mon, we all know that the 'record' and the 'modern record' aren't the same (e.g., 273 career plunks vs. 287). So, what's the actual record for plunks in a game by one pitcher? How about plunks in a game by one team? by both teams combined?

At 4/07/2006 03:22:00 PM, Blogger Laurence said...

(Ahem... Oral? Maybe that's the name he uses when he stars in porn movies in LA...)

At 4/07/2006 04:15:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

I'll blame the spelling of Mr. Hershiser's name on the spell check.

As for modern records, I don't mean to claim that they matter, but I was just using that as a point of discussion for Livan Hernadez and so forth. That is the most batters anyone has hit during the Craig Biggio era. Baseball Almanac says that Ed Knouff and John Grimes hit 6 batters in games 1887 and 1897, but 4 is the American League record anyway.

In general I believe a Record should be based on that which has been recorded, so Hughie Jennings' 287 is the hit by pitch record. This modern record business was probably invented because people thought certain all time records were out of reach due to changes in the game like Sam Crawford's 309 triples. That just makes Craig Biggio's chase for a 103 year old plunk record all the more remarkable.

Most plunks by a team in one game and other such records are here. Washington and Pittsburgh hit each other 8 times in 1896, and Louisville and St Louis matched that in 1897. Louisville got hit 6 of those times, which ties them for the single game team record for getting hit with the 1913 Yankees who got hit 6 times by Washington.

At 4/07/2006 04:32:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

Maybe we can come up with some new terminology instead of "modern records" and just call them "top recent performances" or something and preserve the term "record" for the actual records.

At 4/07/2006 09:27:00 PM, Anonymous DM said...

Oh, I suppose 'most impressive performance of the modern era' is probably ok...

Didn't mean to give you too hard a time :)

At 4/07/2006 11:08:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

No problem, it was a valid criticism and a good question. As you know, only with helpful feedback from readers like you will we spread the word of the Quest. Or something. Anyway, it's good to throw me a couple of brushbacks to keep me on my toes.

At 4/08/2006 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous DM said...

In fact, I suppose you've accepted the risks of being beaned by playing, right?


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